Portia de Rossi speaks out as criticism of Ellen DeGeneres mounts

Actress Portia de Rossi (above, left) with host Ellen DeGeneres in an episode of her talk show.
Actress Portia de Rossi (above, left) with host Ellen DeGeneres in an episode of her talk show.PHOTO: PORTIA DE ROSSI/INSTAGRAM

LOS ANGELES • Actress Portia de Rossi defended Ellen DeGeneres on Monday after a social media campaign called for the talk show host to step down, following reports of a hostile work environment for employees on set.

De Rossi, who has been married to DeGeneres for 12 years, posted an "I Stand By Ellen" graphic on her Instagram account.

"To all our fans... we see you. Thank you for your support," de Rossi, 47, wrote on Monday.

The former Ally McBeal (1997 to 2002) actress also added the hashtags #stopbotattacks and #bekindtooneanother to her post.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003 to present) has won multiple Emmy awards, but both the talk show and DeGeneres have been under fire for weeks.

There were complaints by former productions staff about a hostile workplace that included racism and bullying by upper management and claims that the comedienne is mean-spirited.

Warner Bros Television, which produces the talk show, conducted an internal investigation and said last week that staffing changes and other measures were being taken to address the issue.

DeGeneres, 62, also e-mailed staff, expressing regrets about the gulf between the show's happy public face and what was sometimes happening backstage.

Rather than damping criticism, the developments led to the #ReplaceEllen hashtag, which went viral on Monday.

Users suggested that celebrities ranging from British singer Harry Styles to former United States first lady Michelle Obama should take over the show.

Other celebrities such as Argentine polo player Nacho Figueras and DJ Samantha Ronson publicly supported DeGeneres.

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"She makes the world a better place for millions of people every day and we cannot hit her because something may have not been perfect," Figueras wrote on Instagram.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2020, with the headline 'Portia de Rossi speaks out as criticism of Ellen DeGeneres mounts'. Print Edition | Subscribe